Fianna Fáil TD for Louth and Meath East Declan Breathnach spoke in the Dáil today and asked the Minister for Jobs and Innovation to make a statement on and to clarify as a matter of urgency whether all efforts are being made by her and her Department and agencies (IDA) to ensure that jobs in eBay will not be lost from Dundalk, Co. Louth and to outline the actions that the IDA are taking to prevent any job losses.
He reminded the Dáil that in April 2013 when they opened their International Operations Centre in Dundalk PayPal President David Marcus described the company’s relationship with Ireland as an “everlasting honeymoon”, and he described the Dundalk facility as being “the heart of eBay”.
Breathnach said “I believe that eBay has viewed properties in the area which were suitable for their operation and I have confirmation of this from leading auctioneers.”
“There is a strong belief in the area that although such accommodation was available in the Dundalk and Drogheda area that eBay have been induced by State Institutions with no doubt a little coaxing politically to consider Sligo or Castlebar.”
He called on the Minister to categorically assure the House that the IDA have not used a range of methods they use to attract investment such as grants, employment incentives, credits, discounts or other such inducements to move eBay from its present location to another region within the country.
“It is my understanding that such incentives are used to attract inward investment and not to sacrifice one region over another.”
“Dundalk, Drogheda and indeed Newry need jobs not only in the present circumstances but in light of the Brexit outcome.”
“This matter needs to be clarified as the uncertainty is causing distress to the staff and their families.”
In response the Minister said it was her main concern that eBay stay in Ireland and that the IDA are working with the company to find a suitable premises. She failed to answer Deputy Breathnach’s question as to whether the IDA were offering the company incentives to relocate to a different region in the country. She did not refute either that she and other Government Deputies have known about this possible move for some eight weeks.